Bumi: Another motherless newborn

BOS Foundation: 21 June 2016

Two more baby orangutans have recently come into the BOS Foundation’s care. A little boy aged between 1-2 years was brought to the BOS Foundation’s Samboja Lestari BOS Foundation: 21 June 2016 Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre on June 15, after being confiscated from a local resident in Samboja village. Just a few days later our team at Nyaru Menteng took in another baby boy on June 18, after he was rescued from Tumbang Koling village in East Kotawaringin, Central Kalimantan, by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and Centre for Orangutan Protection.

The baby which arrived at Nyaru Menteng we named Bumi (meaning "Earth" in Indonesian). He was in very poor condition, weak and shivering. Our senior vet on duty, Agus Fahroni, immediately covered him with a thick, warm blanket and gave him milk.

The rescue team initially estimated Bumi’s age at around two months. However, after a more thorough examination we discovered he had a fresh wound on his belly button from his umbilical cord indicating he was actually a newborn less than two weeks old.

Dr. Agus prescribed a course antibiotics to help dry up the wound and to avoid infection, but poor Bumi was so incredibly weak that he could not even open his eyelids and focus on an object. We believe he was likely violently separated from his mother very shortly after his birth.

On the first few nights at our centre, Bumi was understandably restless and cried. Our babysitters held him continuously and also held a small cuddly toy close to him for additional comfort, which seemed to help him sleep better. Now he only cries when he wants his bottle.

In the wild, baby orangutans stay with their mothers until they are between 6 – 8 years old. At his very fragile age, Bumi has sadly suffered the cruel fate of having his mother taken away from him.

Bumi is currently under 24/7 observation and care, and is receiving intensive treatment from our dedicated medical team and babysitters. He currently weighs just 1.7 kilograms, and is being regularly fed formula milk and given antibiotics to help heal his neonatal wound. Knowing that Bumi was traumatically taken from his mother leaves us greatly saddened. We know we can’t replace his mother, but we can do everything possible to nurture him back to health and help him grow into a confident, healthy young orangutan.